Top 9 Foods that are High in Iron
Iron is an essential trace mineral that is vital for specific functions in our body. It is responsible for carrying oxygen from our lungs to the rest of our body. It must be obtained from the foods that we eat. Iron deficiency is one of the most common types of nutrient deficiencies. People who are deficient in iron are at risk of developing a condition called Anemia in which there are not enough healthy red blood cells in our body.
The following foods are rich in iron, so add them to your diet to ensure that you are meeting your recommended daily intake every day.
Although they look tiny but they provide tons of essential nutrients! Certain seeds are excellent sources of iron such as pumpkin, sesame, hemp, and flax seeds. 1 ounce (28 g) of sesame seeds provides 4.1 mg of iron, which is 23% of RDI (Recommended Daily Intake). The same amount of hemp seeds contains 2.7 mg of iron, while pumpkin and flax seeds contain 2 mg, and 1.6 mg of iron, respectively. Seeds also provide many other important nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds.
This superfood is famous in the health food world due to its unique taste, texture, and nutritional profile. Quinoa may look and taste like a grain, but it’s actually a seed. Quinoa is rich in fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. 1 cup of cooked quinoa contains 2.8 mg iron, which is 15% of RDI. Prepared as a main course or served as a side, quinoa is the perfect addition to any meal.
Oats are another great plant-based source of iron which is nutritious, filling, and versatile, and make for a delicious breakfast any day. 1 cup of oatmeal made from regular oats, or steel cut oats, contains 3.4 mg of iron, or 19% of RDI. Oats are also an excellent source of dietary fiber and protein, so a bowl of oat in the morning can keep us full and satisfied for many hours after eating. Oats are also rich in essential minerals magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium.
Legumes contain some of the highest levels of this trace element. Soybeans come in first place with 49% of RDI of iron in a 1 cup serving. Second, lentils with 37% of RDI of iron in 1 cup. Other iron-rich legumes include chickpeas, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, and many more! Not only are legumes rich in iron, but they are also excellent sources of many another essential macro- and micro-nutrients including protein, fiber, folate, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and many healthy plant compounds.
Dark, Leafy Green Vegetable
Most dark leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, collard greens, swiss chard, beet greens are good sources of iron. Not only are they rich in iron, but leafy greens are filled with many essential vitamins and minerals as well as disease-fighting and antioxidant plant compounds. In addition to calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese.
Prune/ Prune Juice
Fruits are rarely good sources of iron, but Prune is an exception. 1 cup of prune juice contains 17% of iron of RDI. A cup of pitted prunes contains 1.6 mg of iron. Prunes are also an excellent source of fiber, vitamin K, B vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese.
Dark chocolate is an excellent source of iron, but it’s also filled with many important disease-fighting antioxidants. 28g of dark chocolate contains about 18% of iron of RDI. Dark chocolate can boost our health in many ways. Studies show that it has the power to fight inflammation and cancer, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and improve cognitive function.
Shellfish in general is an excellent source of iron especially clams, oysters, and mussels. One 85g of clams contains 132% iron of RDI. Clams are also an incredibly rich source of vitamin B12, with 1401% of RDI in just 1 serving. Clams are also an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, B vitamins, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium.
Beef is an excellent source of heme iron, and an outstanding food to eat if we are prone to anemia. Heme iron is the type of iron found in blood and muscle and can be absorbed more quickly by human body than nonheme iron. This is good because it prevents anemia. 85g of meat contains 15% iron of RDI.
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